i got your parable right here

A number of folks, after the recent mass murder at a Baptist church in Texas (which took place during the service), questioned the efficacy of thoughts and prayers as a defense against multiple rounds of .223 caliber bullets. This, naturally, upset some Christian conservatives.

[S]ome prominent left-wing voices have taken the opportunity to politicize the incident. Some on the left have used the shooting to mock the concept of prayer and Christianity.

In an effort to be transparent, I should probably repeat the fact that I’m not a Christian and I don’t believe in a supreme being. I don’t object to the notion of prayer, and I’d never mock folks who resort to it. But I have to say I don’t think it’s a good substitute for action. I do, however, enjoy a good parable.

Here’s one you’ve almost certainly heard before. Devout Christian hears a weather forecast warning of heavy rains and flooding. He stays in his house by the river. The river rises, the man’s house begins to flood, he prays. Sheriff comes by, suggests he evacuate the area. Guy says God will protect him. Flooding continues, the guy climbs on his roof. Rescuer in a boat comes by, offers to take him to safety. Guy says God will protect him. Waters rise, guy is stranded. Helicopter arrives, offers to airlift the guy to safety. Guy says God will protect him. Guy drowns. Shows up at the gate to heaven, asks God why he didn’t answer his prayers. God says he did — sent a warning, sent a messenger, sent a boat, sent a helo — but the guy just didn’t listen.

What? Naw, this is fine.

The parable stops at that point, and most folks seems content with that. Me, I find myself wondering what else God told the guy. I mean, does God say “Dude, you are too stupid and stubborn to enter heaven”? Or “Dude, you ignored every sign I sent you, but hey I’m feeling generous, come on in anyway”? Or what?

Still, as parables go, that one is pretty sweet. Maybe religious folk should take it to heart. If there’s a God, maybe he/she/it is saying “Dude, seriously? I let them shoot up a McDonalds. I let them shoot up a college campus. I even let them shoot up a bunch of six-year-old kids. Then I let them shoot up a church. Why aren’t you paying attention?”

Maybe? Possibly? What do I know? I don’t understand this ‘moves in a mysterious way’ business. But IF there’s some supernatural agent at work here leaving a coded message to his followers, the code really doesn’t seem that difficult to break.

NOTE: That ‘mysterious way’ business? It ain’t from the Bible. It’s from a hymn written by William Cowper in the late 18th century. Not long after he wrote that hymn, Cowper attempted suicide. By drowning. Just saying.

2 thoughts on “i got your parable right here

  1. Whether religious zealots & fanatics of Christianity or Islam or any other denomination / sect, “they” are mandated to defy logic and to use the ‘rose-colored’ glasses of their choice to view all before them. Rather than assess a situation objectively and with logic, they deny and reject the rationality and embrace the rationale.

    Consider Rev Hagee (uber conservative evangelical old white male TX preacher & decades’ long mentor to the Republican Party): he is a prominent voice and had spoken out on behalf of John McCain (not really- he was supporting Palin, the wacko quitter governor thrown into national limelight by James Dobson (Focus on the Family $$$ guy). Hagee stated that “Hitler was God’s hunter, his shepherd to herd the Jews…” (Hagee has been making $$$ in hosting trips to Israel and is dedicated to bringing about ‘biblical’ prophecy of Revelations- EndOTimes stuff).

    These zealots and their minions defy common sense. Does it all tie back in large part to the twisted story of King David? He was ‘chosen’ by God even though he sent his top general into a battle and assured death- all to cover up his adultery and fathering of a bastard child with the general’s wife. The rule of dual standards and what I think is their rationale to support trump- someone who (along with 2 Corinthians) gleefully defied at least 8 of their 10 Commandments.

    Even prior to Ann Coulter and others who actually mock the fundamentalists’ faith-based alt reality, they viewed weather events as Acts of God (heck- its an actual legal term to boot!). Tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, floods… all Acts of God. Those who were adversely affected- they must have done something wrong. Those spared- well, those God looked upon with some favor. How many times do we hear “thank God our house didn’t get destroyed” and so on? “It’s a miracle…” that someone survived an F5- why wasn’t it a miracle that God just skipped the devastation altogether?

    To your direct point- the evangelicals are forced to reside in the Dark Ages. They CANNOT embrace logic, science, medical breakthroughs, to address the malicious intents of their ‘loving Father’. They fear anyone who would also then use their own thought process to challenge their other beliefs. Free will does not really exist in their world. Their god actively controls every action and thought- puppets, really. This goes from mass murders to rape to genocide to Manifest Destiny. Ironically, this is one of the first times that ‘they’ are on the receiving end of “God’s just will” (a white male local guy DeepInTheHeartA Texas).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course, this most recent one is NOT the first church shooting. Not at all. Indeed, one researcher counts 147 church shootings from 2006-2016. As a matter of fact, given the familial relationship between the shooter and some of the people he murdered, it is arguably LESS frightening than something like the Charleston shooting, where the shooter was a stranger, and just targeted whoever was there, because they were there, and members of a race the miserable little fucker thought was inferior or threatening or both.

    And Greg, nice note on Cowper. Hadn’t known about the attempt.

    Liked by 1 person

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